Taiwan’s StarLux will start flying to the U.S. in April though for now they aren’t saying more than it’ll be a West Coast destination. They have plans to “gradually expand to other destinations” and also fly to Europe. I’m guessing Los Angeles over San Francisco or Seattle will be first.
The carrier, which currently has 9 Airbus A321neo and 2 Airbus A330neo aircraft, is adding:
- “Four Airbus A321neos, two A330neos and two A350-900 aircraft” by the end of the year, though the A350s aren’t expected to be certified by Taiwan until early 2023.
- Six additional aircraft in 2023
I wrote last year we’d see more flights from Taiwan to the U.S. whether the market supported this or not because Taiwan has a strong interest in solidifying closer ties to the U.S. – as China becomes more belligerent (and is expected to become even more so once President Xi is re-elected to an unprecedented third term in October).
But these flights aren’t just foreign policy, they’re revenge. The founder of Taiwan’s StarLux is the Chairman of Star Alliance carrier EVA Air who was ousted after his father’s death, the victim of an estate squabble stemming from plural marriage. He was son to the founder’s second wife, and ousted by the children of the founder’s first wife. A pilot himself he had flown a company jet to Singapore, and wasn’t even allowed to act as pilot on the way back when this happened.
Ousted EVA Air chairman Chang Kuo-wei at the inaugural of the airline’s Taipei – Houston service. He had flown the airline’s Hello Kitty Shining Star Jet to the U.S.
Plenty of people have status matched over to StarLux and this new flying may create a use for that status!
StarLux has lost over $300 million since its founding in 2018 but expects to be profitable in five years.